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From: Mark Rifkin (
Subject:         Re: Where go in NY State/Dietetics or Nutrition?
Date: March 27, 2007 at 10:13 pm PST

In Reply to: Where go in NY State/Dietetics or Nutrition? posted by Marilyn on March 26, 2007 at 7:00 pm:

Hi Marilyn,

You asked a very good set of questions. First, RE: IIN, you made the right decision. Since IIN is not an accredited institution, their cert does not meet state requirements. My information indicates NY does not license dietitians, but they do certify them. For details, call 518-474-3817 x 560.

The list of ADA-accredited programs is available at Click on "careers and students" then "Accredited Education Programs" in the top left corner.

Part of your decision should be based on your target market and NY state regulations. Most states that license nutrition professionals require that any practitioner providing nutrition counseling to clients with diagnosed conditions be licensed, but anyone can counsel "healthy" people. My belief is that the market will increase sooner and faster for those with diagnosed conditions, although the market for providing services to the "healthy" will increase eventually.

Of course the only way to meet state requirements is to complete an accredited program, which may not require you to obtain another degree (check with NY state). With your existing BA, you'd likely only have to complete the core academic requirements you didn't complete with your original degree, plus any other courses not transferable. This is what I did while working fulltime: I went to school part time, and simply completed those classes I had never taken.

RE: your passion for natural foods/holistic nutrition, Bastyr Univ. in WA state is the only university I'm aware of that offers an ADA-accredited program with some holistic education.
My suggestion would be to complete an accredited program, then adjust your additional training and education to suit your career preferences.

Whether there is a sufficient market for a holistically-focused, properly credentialed dietitian in your area is another question. I know there is not a sufficient market to maintain a vegetarian-focused dietitian in most (all?) states. In order to expand your market, you may have to resign yourself to the need to counsel non-veg, non-holistic clients, as I've done. Although initially objectionable, I rationalize that since most conditions benefit from more fruits, vegetables, beans and fiber, the animal gods will continue to smile upon me, even though most clients will want me to recommend some animal products in addition to fruits, veg, beans and fiber.

If you don't feel you need an RD credential, then consider a degree in Health Education. Google <"health education" degree New York>.

Good luck, and let me know if this is helpful!
Mark Rifkin, MS, RD, LDN

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